5 Tips To Keep House Plants Alive During Winter
Yellow leaves? Weird bugs flying around your pot? Moldy soil? These are all symptoms of too much winter watering. Try decreasing cutting the frequency of watering in half, or just water if your plants look thirsty. Oh, and cut the fertilizer back too. Just put a little Neem Cake Fertilizer in the pot, two times a month. Neem Cake Fertilizer specializes in strengthening the plants roots and general appearance.
It’s hard to believe, but all that dust that accumulates on your plant leaves (especially large tropicals) inhibits the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. Pro-tip: Stick all the plants in the bathtub and turn on the shower (gentle pressure)!
Many plants, especially tropicals, are sensitive to cold air. They’ll drop leaves like crazy when it gets drafty! To fix this problem, make sure your windows are sealed and insulated, or that your plants are moved out of the reach of cold drafty areas like window sills and doorways.
Your plants need sun. If your windows aren’t cutting it, try replacing incandescent bulbs with full spectrum lights in the nearest fixture.
Winter is not the time to re-pot your plant. Root growth is slow this time of year. Soil in big pots stays wet longer. You risk root rot and over-watering if you re-pot now. You probably won’t see much new growth until spring, but pruning tends to make things look nicer in the meantime.
Heating If you live in a cold climate you may need to insulate your greenhouse to help keep your plants toasty warm. While a lot of sun will come in during the day, an uninsulated greenhouse will cool off quickly at night. In this case, a heating system may be called for.
A 220-volt circuit electric heater works well. Small gas or oil heaters designed to be installed through a masonry wall are also effective. There are also solar heaters designed specifically for greenhouses.
Radiant heat lamps hung over plants combined with soil heating cables under beds will keep most plants warm enough. Be sure the greenhouse is vented and that whatever heating system you have has an automatic shut-off.
Tip: Place rocks or barrels of water inside your greenhouse to capture the suns heat and keep plants warm during cool evenings.
Shading In warmer environments or when the sun is directly hitting the greenhouse, shading can keep plants from getting burned by reducing the amount of summer sunlight. Polypropylene shade cloth, roll-up screens of wood or aluminum, vinyl plastic shading, or paint-on materials can all be used to shade plants.
Ventilation Plants can get too hot even during cold or cool weather, so good greenhouse ventilation is crucial. Vents can be hand cranked, but you’ll need to monitor temperatures closely. There are electric and temperature-sensitive hydraulic vents that automatically open and close.
Installing an oscillating fan will help keep air moving through the greenhouse and prevent many disease problems.
Pests It would be a good idea to make sure your plants have the protection they will need from intruding pest. Many of these pest will be looking for a way into your warm and cozy greenhouse. We would highly recommend using our organic neem insect spray. All you need is Zaturals Neem Oil, insecticidal soap or other detergent, and warm water. Be careful to add the correct amount, because to much neem oil could burn out your plants. Click here for the our Neem Oil Insect Spray Instructions.
- Maryann Stanger